Archive for 02/20/2012

Arizona: Muslim Family Arrested After 19-Year-Old Daughter Subjected to ‘Honor Beating’ for Talking to a Boy

02/20/2012 Leave a comment

Maybe TLC should consider adding the Farhans to their “All American Muslim” lineup. Seems like they’d get along quite well with at least one of the stars of their show …

By Adam Slinger and Angie Holdsworth – “PHOENIX – An Iraqi mother accused of beating her 19-year-old daughter for talking to a boy is back behind bars, along with her husband and another daughter.

Phoenix police told ABC15 that the victim claims her parents and her younger sister beat her, and then tied her to a bed in their home.

The mother, Yursa Farhan, who sat down with ABC15 on Saturday, admitted to hitting her daughter, Aiya, who lied to her and used foul language, but denies ever beating her as police allege.

‘She was talking to a boy and our culture says no boyfriends,’ Farhan said. ‘We have to respect our culture.’

Farhan was released from jail last week, but was re-arrested on Wednesday.

Investigators said Fahan also burned Aiya with a hot spoon as punishment back in November because the teenager refused to marry a 38-year-old man.

Farhan’s husband, Mohammed Altameemi, and their 18-year-old daughter, Tabarak Altameemi, were arrested in connection with the most recent incident.” Read more.

‘Fish Dying in Rivers’: Drought Declared in the South East of England, Water Restrictions Expected Within Weeks

02/20/2012 Leave a comment

By Matthew Holehouse – “Some reservoirs, rivers and groundwater aquifers in the South East well below normal levels after two dry winters.

The state of drought in the region was declared after the Environment Department (Defra) convened a summit of water companies, farmers and wildlife groups today to discuss potential water shortages in England.

Following the summit, Thames Water warned that there was a high chance of water restrictions such as hosepipe bans this summer, unless there was significant rainfall or customers used less water.

Some rivers and groundwater levels are lower than during the drought of 1976.

The RSPB is warning that if the drought situation continues, it could spell potential disaster for wildlife.

Birds, mammals and bugs could be struggling to survive into the summer if the rain doesn’t fall in the next few weeks as valuable wetlands dry up.

Charlie Kitchin, RSPB Site Manager for the area said: ‘The breeding season of 2011 was not good at all for this nature reserve. Winter flooding is essential to attract the large numbers of wild swans and other wildfowl that the washes are renowned for and this winter has been the quietest for many years, for example our wigeon numbers are down from 20,000 to 3,000.'” Read more.

Take an ‘egg timer’ into the shower say water companies – “Residents are being sent waterproof ‘egg timers’ so they don’t linger in the shower, in attempt to preserve dwindling waters stocks by reducing consumption. Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, was forced to declare drought in the most populated area of Britain after two dry winters in a row left reservoirs dangerously low and fish dying in rivers. The Anglia region was already in drought, meaning more than half of the population of the UK faces hosepipe bans in a matter of weeks. There could even be restrictions in London – part of the South East region – where thousands of litres more water will be needed because of the Olympics.” Read more.

‘A Bleak Picture of the State of the World’s Oceans’: Animal Diseases, Parasites Increasingly Plague Sea Mammals

02/20/2012 Leave a comment

“VANCOUVER – When dead sea mammals started washing ashore on Canada’s west coast in greater numbers, marine biologist Andrew Trites was distressed to find that domestic animal diseases were killing them.

Around the world seals, otters and other species are increasingly infected by parasites and other diseases long common in goats, cows, cats and dogs, marine mammal experts told a major science conference.

The diseases also increasingly threaten people who use the oceans for recreation, work or a source of seafood, scientists told reporters at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held this year in this Western Canadian city.

The symposium ‘Swimming in Sick Seas’ was one of many sessions at this year’s AAAS that drew a bleak picture of the state of the world’s oceans, which are increasingly acidic, warming in some areas and being inundated with melting ice or other climate change effects.

‘There are dramatic shifts in the ocean ecosystem,’ said Jason Hall-Spencer of Britain’s University of Plymouth, citing his research in Italy, Baha California and Papua New Guinea that is ‘all showing the same thing’ …” Read more.

Necropsy Finds Large Number of Parasites ‘Channeling Into the Brain’ of Dolphin That Died in Ocean City – “Preliminary results of a necropsy performed on the dolphin found dead in a bayside Ocean City lagoon on Sunday (Feb. 12) show ‘a heavy load of parasites channeling into the brain,’ according to Bob Schoelkopf, the director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine. Similar parasites were found in a dolphin found dead on a Delaware Bay beach in Lower Township on Sunday and in a dolphin that died shortly after stranding in Stafford Township off Barnegat Bay on Monday (Feb. 13), Schoelkopf said. All three animals were common dolphins, a species that typically travels in groups at least 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey.” Read more.

Another Alaska Volcano Awakens, Kanaga Threat Level Raised to Yellow

02/20/2012 Leave a comment

“First it was Alaska’s Mount Cleveland that awoke and threatened to erupt. Now Kanaga, another Alaska volcano is growing restless.

This weekend, the Alaska Volcano Observatory raised the threat level to yellow on Kanaga, located on Kanaga Island, one of the most southerly of the central Aleutian Islands chain.

‘Somewhat elevated seismicity continues at Kanaga Volcano,’ the observatory reported, adding that on Saturday a weak ash cloud may have been detected after a volcanic tremor.

Kanaga Volcano last erupted in 1994-1995. At least two significant ash plumes were recorded over the course of this eruption. The Aleutian community of Adak received a light dusting of ash and air traffic was disrupted due to continuing low-level activity and cloudy conditions, which prevented visual approaches to the Adak air field.” Read more.

Categories: Natural Disasters

Bolivia: Unprecedented Size and Longevity of Uturuncu Uplift Means ‘We Could Be Witnessing the Development of a New Supervolcano’

02/20/2012 1 comment

By Jean Friedman-Rudovsky – “UTURUNCU VOLCANO, Bolivia — The broad hill at the base of Uturuncu is unassuming. Its gentle arc fades naturally into the Andean landscape.

But the 43-mile-long stretch of rocky soil is now an object of international scientific fascination. Satellite measurements show that the hill has been rising more than half an inch a year for almost 20 years, suggesting that the volcano, which last erupted more than 300,000 years ago, is steadily inflating.

‘The size and longevity of the uplift is unprecedented,’ said Shanaka de Silva, a geologist at Oregon State University who has been studying Uturuncu since 2006.

Taken together with other new research, he continued, the inflation means ‘we could be witnessing the development of a new supervolcano.’

Such a volcano could produce an eruption of ash, rock and pumice 1,000 times the strength of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state, the worst volcanic event in modern American history, and 10,000 times that of the Icelandic eruptions in 2010 that paralyzed global air traffic for weeks.” Read more.

Categories: Natural Disasters

Japan: Signs of Volcanic Unrest Reported at Mount Fuji, Sakurajima Volcanoes

02/20/2012 Leave a comment

“Reports are appearing about unrest and signs of a possible awakening of Mt Fuji volcano in Japan.

According to a report which includes an unclear photo of the area, a row of new craters, the largest 50 m in diameter, has appeared on the eastern flank of the volcano at 2200 m elevation. Steam was observed erupting from these vents.

The observation joins other signs suggesting a gradual reawakening: A swarm of earthquakes including 4 of magnitude 5 have occurred northeast of Mt Fuji on and after 28 January. An earlier 6.4M quake occurred under the volcano on 15 March 2011. The report also mentions increased activity from a fumarole vent at 1500 m elevation and hot spring areas at the eastern flank observed since 2003.

These locations seem to be aligned geographically, and are probably connected. Dr. Masaaki Kimura of Ryukyu University is quoted to admit that there is an increased risk of and eruption on the eastern flank and that the status of the volcano should be closely monitored.” Source – Volcano Discovery.

Large Explosion Recorded on Sakurajima Volcano in Japan (Video)

Categories: Natural Disasters
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